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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 11/22/2010

Why China has so many fake divorces

By Ezra Klein

China is facing a large real-estate bubble driven in part by newly affluent Chinese buying properties as investments. The Chinese government knows this, so they've imposed a one-house-per-family rule. But as Patrick Chovanec explains, it isn't working out as they planned:

The other day, I was talking with a part-time maid we had hired to help us settle in to our new apartment after relocating within Beijing. She had told us, when we hired her, that she was divorced. Now that she had gotten to know us, however, she informed me — matter of factly — that while she was, in fact, officially divorced, she still lived happily with her husband and daughter as a family. Seeing the quizzical look on my face, she reassured me that the only reason they had gotten a divorce — a mere legal technicality — was so they could circumvent the one-home-per-family restriction and qualify to buy a second home in Beijing.

Perhaps not surprisingly, "actual, legal divorces in China are up nearly 10% this year."

By Ezra Klein  | November 22, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  China  
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Another argument for getting the government out of the marriage business.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 22, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This is creepy, 'end goal justifies any means' kind of mentality.

I doubt there is much what State can do here. For decades State has been behaving that so finally society has caught up with it. Sickening.

But then why tax laws are not helping here? I believe you have less taxes for married folks with kids in USA compared to individual filling. Is it not that case in China? I guess that is something State can clearly do. But I suppose you need an element of 'Conservative Thinking' for that in the Government; not just the love for Capitalism.

Pretty sure Tea Party Members would love the story.

Posted by: umesh409 | November 22, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Ezra. The history of government is replete with the law of unintended consequences. Just wait until Obamacare is fully implemented.

Posted by: bgmma50 | November 22, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

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